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June 29, 2006

ST. JOHN’S, NFLD – BMO Financial Group, sponsor of the Elinore & Lou Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, today announced the names of the 36 Canadian theatre designers who have been recognized with nominations for this year’s award. The $100,000 prize – the largest in Canadian theatre – will be presented October 24, 2006, to a professional lighting, costume, set or sound designer who has made a significant contribution to theatre in Canada. A short-list will be announced at the end of September.

Tony Comper, President and CEO of BMO Financial Group, the founding sponsor of the Siminovitch Prize, congratulated the nominated designers. “I am thrilled to see so many tremendous theatre designers nominated for this year’s prize. In 2003, the first year the prize celebrated designers, we received 25 nominations. We are very excited that in just three years the number of nominees has grown so dramatically, representing such a wide body of talent from coast to coast,” said Mr. Comper.

The regional representation of nominees has also grown, particularly in Western and Eastern Canada. In 2003, there were only two nominees from British Columbia, one from Alberta and one from Nova Scotia. This year, these numbers have increased three-fold with five submissions from B.C., four from Alberta, two from Nova Scotia, and one from New Brunswick. A full list of the nominees is included at the end of this press release.

“The 36 outstanding nominees for the 2006 Siminovitch Prize in Theatre, celebrating design, have applied their prodigious talents in theatres, small and large, in all regions of Canada,” said Leonard McHardy, chair of the five-person jury that will select the recipient of this year’s Siminovitch Prize. “The creative imagination at work in all the nominations confirms positively the notion that theatre is indeed ‘the liveliest art’. We are delighted that the Siminovitch Prize will provide significant resources and recognition to one of these theatre artists, allowing further exploration which will in turn enrich the theatre.”

The announcement was made from the Magnetic North Theatre Festival, Canada’s premier English language theatre festival, held this year in St. John’s, Newfoundland from June 28 to July 8. On hand were three Siminovitch Prize recipients, directors Daniel Brooks and Jillian Keiley and playwright John Mighton, who were participating in a special Siminovitch Prize panel to kick off the festival’s Magnetic Encounters Series. Moderated by Mary Vingoe, Artistic Director of the Magnetic North Theatre Festival and a former Siminovitch Prize Jury member, the panel discussed the challenging nature of being a theatre artist in Canada. A transcript of the discussion is available upon request.

Jury and Selection Process
Joining Leonard McHardy on this year’s jury are Luc Boulanger, author and well-known journalist in Montreal’s media community; Mary Kerr, a distinguished production designer whose work has been seen on stages across Canada and throughout the world; Diana Leblanc, an actress and director who has received acclaim in French and English throughout the country; and Keith Turnbull, a director, dramaturge and producer committed to contemporary and new work in both theatre and opera.

The Jury will review the nominations of professional lighting, costume, set or sound designers who have advanced Canadian theatre through a body of work achieved in recent years while influencing and inspiring younger theatre artists. In the preceding 10 years, nominees will have made a significant creative contribution to no fewer than three noteworthy theatre projects in Canada. The jurors will assess the nominees’ originality, sense of evolution, growing maturity, continuing experimentation, impact upon audiences, and influence upon younger artists.

2006 Siminovitch Prize Nominees
Alan Brodie, Vancouver, BC, Lighting Designer
Noah Drew, Vancouver, BC, Sound Designer
Itai Erdal, Vancouver, BC, Lighting Designer
Robert Gardiner, Vancouver, BC, Set & Lighting Designer
Mara Gottler, Vancouver, BC, Costume Designer
Andreas Kahre, Vancouver, BC, Set & Sound Designer

Dave Clarke, Edmonton, AB, Sound Designer
Harry Frehner, Calgary, AB, Lighting Designer
Bretta Gerecke, Edmonton, AB, Set & Lighting Designer
The Old Trout Puppet Workshop, Calgary, AB, Set & Costume Designers

Judith Bowden, Niagara on the Lake, ON, Set & Costume Designer
Ronnie Burkett, Toronto, ON, Set & Costume Designer
Stephan Georg Droerge, Toronto, ON, Set & Lighting Designer
Dennis Horn, Elora, ON, Set & Costume Designer
Shawn Kerwin, Toronto, ON, Set & Costume Designer
Kevin Lamotte, Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON, Lighting Designer
Glen Charles Landry, Toronto, ON, Set, Costume & Lighting Designer
Michael Levine, Toronto, ON, Set & Costume Designer
Steve Lucas, Shelburne, ON, Set & Lighting Designer
Dany Lyne, Toronto, ON, Set & Costume Designer
Paul Mathiesen, Toronto, ON, Lighting Designer
Jerrard Smith, Guelph, ON, Set & Costume Designer
Julia Tribe, Toronto, ON, Set & Costume Designer

André Barbe, Montreal, QC, Set & Costume Designer
Jean Bard, Montreal, QC, Set & Costume Designer
Linda Brunelle, Montreal, QC, Costume Designer
Anick LaBissonnière, Montreal, QC, Set Designer
Martin Labrecque, Montreal, QC, Lighting Designer
Richard Lacroix, Montreal, QC, Set Designer
Danièle Lévesque, Montreal, QC, Set Designer
Mathieu Marcil, Montreal, QC, Lighting Designer
Michel Robidoux, Montreal, QC, Sound Designer
Marie-Chantale Vaillancourt, Montreal, QC, Costume Designer

J. Patrick Clark, Fredericton, NB, Set & Costume Designer

Denyse Karn, Halifax, NS, Set & Costume Designer
Leigh Ann Vardy, Halifax, NS, Lighting Designer

The Siminovitch Prize in Theatre was introduced in 2001 and dedicated to renowned scientist Lou Siminovitch and his late wife Elinore, a playwright. Sponsored by BMO Financial Group, Canada’s largest annual theatre arts award honours professional directors, playwrights and designers by acknowledging excellence and encouraging further exploration in Canadian theatre. The winner receives $100,000, of which one quarter is given to a protégé chosen by the recipient.

Contacts:
JoAnne Hayes, Toronto, joanne.hayes@bmo.com, (416) 867-3996
Lucie Gosselin, Montreal, lucie.gosselin@bmo.com, (514) 877-1101
Laurie Grant, Vancouver, laurie.grant@bmo.com, (604) 665-7596

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